HOT SPRINGS — A Mother’s Day shooting that killed a man and seriously injured his father stemmed from an earlier fight involving one of two men later charged with murder, according to documents filed in Garland County Circuit Court.
Kaylen Dantrell Damon Burks, 23, and Tommy Eddie Woodfork III, 18, both of Malvern, are each charged with first-degree murder and committing a terroristic act, both punishable by up to life in prison, and first-degree battery, punishable by up to 20 years, in connection with the May 12 shooting that claimed the life of Donyell King and seriously injured his father, Donald King, during a fight outside a house on Lily Ruth Court in Hot Springs.
Burks was arrested May 17 in Malvern and Woodfork was arrested two days later in Benton. Hot Springs police said after their arrests that Burks was being charged as an accomplice and that they believed Woodfork was the actual shooter, but few other details were released.
The cases against Burks and Woodfork were filed last week in circuit court, and both men are set to be arraigned Tuesday. Orders limiting pretrial publicity in both cases were issued Tuesday by Judge Marcia Hearnsberger.
According to the probable-cause affidavit, which was identical for both suspects, police responded about 11:50 p.m. May 12 to the 100 block of Lily Ruth Court to a shooting call and arrived to find a dark Chevrolet Cruze parked in the roadway with bullet holes in the driver’s side window.
Donyell King, 23, of Hot Springs was in the driver’s seat covered in blood with apparent gunshot wounds in his face and left shoulder, the affidavit said. A woman, 41, was sitting behind him holding his head up and yelling, “My son has been shot!”
Donald King, 50, was located nearby with an apparent gunshot wound in the left side of his back, the affidavit said. Both men were transported to CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs, where Donyell King was pronounced dead on arrival and Donald King was taken to surgery with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
A witness at the scene of the shooting told police she and her friend, identified as Burks, were with her family most of the day “hanging out for Mother’s Day.” She said she and Donyell King started fighting and Burks got involved, which led to Burks and Donyell King fighting.
The fight was broken up and everyone left, according to the affidavit. The witness said she left with Burks in his Dodge Challenger and that as they were driving Burks called someone on his phone and told them about what happened and how he felt “like he was punked out.”
She told police they met up with a group of people in downtown Hot Springs and planned to go back to Lily Ruth Court to fight. She said she rode with Burks back to Lily Ruth with other vehicles following them, the affidavit said. Once there, Burks and “a black male with dreads” approached the car Donyell King was driving and began arguing with him as he sat in the driver’s seat.
The witness said that seconds later the man with dreadlocks pulled out a handgun and shot at Donyell King. She said Burks and the other man then fled.
Hot Springs police Detective Mark Fallis received information May 14 about a woman who was at the scene with the man with dreadlocks and fled with him. Fallis interviewed her the next day.
The woman said she was with Woodfork in Malvern on May 12 when he got a phone call from Burks, according to the affidavit. She said Wood-fork handed her the phone and Burks asked her to come to Hot Springs to pick him up. She said Woodfork then drove them in her car to Hot Springs where they met Burks downtown, the affidavit said.
They followed Burks “to the area of Walnut Street,” where they pulled into a cul-de-sac and parked behind Burks, according to the affidavit. Lily Ruth Court is off Juniper Place, which runs off of Walnut Street. Once there, she told Fallis that Burks and Woodfork got out of their vehicles and approached a dark car.
The woman said she heard yelling and saw Woodfork raise a handgun and shoot into the dark car, striking Donyell King, the affidavit said. She said Woodfork got back into the driver’s seat of her car and drove them back to Malvern.
She said she has known Woodfork for at least two years and later identified a driver’s license photo of Tommy Woodfork as the person she saw shoot into the dark car, the affidavit said.
According to court records, Woodfork had no prior criminal history but Burks was on probation from a conviction in September 2018 in Hot Spring County.